New to Cardano? The Cardano Intro for Newbies

This is all you need to know to get familiar with Cardano. We did the research for you so you don’t have to (and we are always updating with fresh info).

See who to follow with the latest news and development updates (that influence the ADA price), major platforms on the Cardano ecosystem as well as influencers in the industry. You may want to start with the Cardano glossary and terms post here (open in a new tab for later) so it can help you get into Cardano faster.

A brief table of contents:

What is Cardano (Brief intro)

Cardano is the world’s first peer-reviewed blockchain and a third-generation cryptocurrency (ADA). Cardano uses a modification of the Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm called Oroboros, which makes the network extremely scalable.

The nonprofit foundation responsible for Cardano assembled a network of academics and scientists from various universities, including the University of Edinburgh and Tokyo Institute of Technology, for the purpose to review its protocols before they are released.

It is a smart contract platform that improves upon the scaling problems of Bitcoin (first-generation cryptocurrency) and Ethereum (which is a second- generation cryptocurrency).

Read our full post about Cardano here.

Main Cardano Sources

  • The IOHK website.
    IOG is the organization that is developing Cardano. If you want to follow the updates (and development updates) as well as major announcements and milestones, make sure to check the IOG blog section here.
Charles Hoskinson
  • Charles Hoskinson the founder of Cardano on Twitter and YouTube:
    Charles may move the Cardano price with a single tweet. Make sure to follow him on Twitter (where he posts daily) and also check out his regular AMAs and livestreams on YouTube for the latest news around the cryptocurrency.

  • The IOG/IOHK YouTube channel:
    Input Output Global (IOG), formerly known as IOHK (Input Output Hong Kong) is the development company owned by Charles Hoskinson that is responsible for the development and upgrading the Cardano blockchain. All the latest news around the Cardano blockchain in terms of development updates or staking pool news are being posted on the official IOG/IOHK YouTube channel here.

  • The Cardano Foundation:
    The Foundation is an independent standards body that oversees and supervises the advancement of Cardano. The Cardano Foundation’s core focus is to accelerate the adoption of Cardano and empower integration and execution. As the legal custodian of the protocol and the guardian of the Cardano brand, the Foundation works to drive viable use cases and partnerships, grow the wider blockchain community, shape legislation and commercial standards, and ensure stakeholder accountability.
    Follow the latest news around the foundation and its activities in the Cardano Foundation forum page.

  • The Catalyst funds (and town hall meetings).
    Fund2 is the latest fund on the Cardano blockchain made to encourage development of apps on the Cardano blockchain and facilitate voting by ADA holders. Read more about Project Catalyst (voting on Cardano projects) here, or join the Telegram channel to watch the town hall videos with updates on projects and voting.

  • SPOCRA:
    The Stake Pool Operator Collective Representation Assembly consists of 7 members voted on by verified Stake Pool operators. They have a forum with more info regarding running a stake pool on Cardano.

Here are quick links to some of the major cryptocurrency news sources that have dedicated sections on Cardano:

Cardano Tools

There are a few tools widely known by the Cardano community that you can use for free to explore the blockchain.

  • Explorer.Cardano.org – the official Cardano blockchain explorer.

  • ADAex.org – Cardano blockchain explorer.

  • AdaPools.org – an independent tool to explore staking pools and block validation on the Cardano blockchain.

  • PoolTool.io – a platform built to facilitate the interaction between SPOs and their stakeholders. Up-to-date information on Cardano, including staking, in-depth research.

Official Cardano Wallets

  • Daedalus
    Daedalus is a full node, this means it downloads and synchronizes with the blockchain. It also supports staking and is currently the preferred wallet for users that want to stake their ADA and earn rewards. Available for Windows, Mac and Linux and it fully validates every block and transaction, so you don’t need to trust anyone.

  • Yoroi
    Yoroi is a lightweight node as it doesn’t need to download and synchronize with the blockchain. Currently the extension is supported by Chrome, Firefox, Android and iOS.

To get into details, read the full post about Cardano wallets here.

Voting on Cardano

Cardano is becoming more and more decentralized and direct voting is the way the future of the blockchain will be shaped.

Project Catalyst is an experiment in community innovation, providing a framework to turn ideas into impactful real-world projects. The idea is to encourage developers and entrepreneurs to build businesses and applications on top of Cardano. ADA holders are able to vote for proposals (and even receive rewards for their votes) via the Ideascale platform and the Catalyst Voting phone apps for iPhone and Android. You can read more about Project Catalyst here.

Register to see all the decentralized Apps as well as other projects planned to launch on the blockchain at the official Cardano Fund 2 page.

Investing in Cardano (info, price, helpful links)

Cardano is one of the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. It is receiving wider adoption especially after the Shelley update in Q2 2020. The price of ADA (the native cryptocurrency on the Cardano blockchain) positively reacts to development news and future updates as we saw around the Shelley update.

There is a lot of room for growth. Cardano had an all-time high of $1.15 in late 2017 and is positively correlated to the Bitcoin and Ethereum bull runs, but with a greater percentage volatility. On November 24th 2020, ADA price reached $0.183 – almost double from the low of 0.093 just 22 days earlier.

There are many major updates scheduled for December 2020 and early 2021, that involve hard forks, smart contracts update and voting on blockchain that will likely influence ADA price.

You can keep track on the ADA price on these platforms:

  • TradingView ADA/USD and ADA/BTC
    You can also find free investment ideas and technical analysis by scrolling down on the TradingView pages.
  • ADA on CoinGecko
    Detailed info on Cardano market cap as well as crypto exchanges that support ADA.
  • CoinTelegraph
    Price charts and news on Cardano.

Staking on Cardano (passive income for ADA holders)

Cardano passive income

Cardano is a Proof Of Stake blockchain which means that ADA holders can receive rewards (every 5 days) for validating transactions on the blockchain. Read more about staking on Cardano here.

ADA held on the Cardano network represents a stake in the network, with the size of the stake proportional to the amount of ADA held. If you hold 10% of all available ADA, you have a 10% stake in the network.

The ability to delegate that stake is fundamental to how Cardano works. There are two ways a Cardano holder can earn rewards, and thus be incentivized to keep the network running: by delegating their stake to a stake pool run by someone else, or running their own stake pool.

The amount of stake delegated to a given stake pool is the primary way the network chooses who should add the next block to the blockchain, and get a monetary reward for doing so. The more stake is delegated to a stake pool (up to a certain point), the more likely it is to make the next block. Then the rewards are shared between everyone who delegated their stake to that stake pool.

You may also decide to choose our staking pool with a ticker NCA (No Central Authority) to stake your ADA and receive awards.
See how to choose a great staking pool here.

Anybody that has ADA stored in either a Daedalus or Yoroi wallets can participate and earn rewards through delegation or running a stake pool.

More about staking on Cardano in our full post here.

Closing thoughts

We hope this post is a valuable introduction about the Cardano ecosystem. Based on Twitter chatter and the recent price increase, we see a lot of people are eager to join the Cardano community but don’t know where to start. This guide is meant to help these people get to know the Cardano ecosystem and the ADA coin faster so they can participate in the project.

Please share this guide to people you know are interested in joining the Cardano movement so they can educate themselves faster and realize the full potential of the project.

Draven Flash

Draven Flash is an IT professional with 20 years of network, server administration and security experience. Avid Cardano/ADA enthusiast since 2017.